16 Jul 2013 07:54

PETALING JAYA, July 15 (Bernama) -- Three key players are expected to be sidelined by the national head coach, Datuk K. Rajagobal when they take on Thailand's Premier League outfit, Chonburi FC in the friendly match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, tomorrow night.

The three players are striker Mohd Safee Sali, midfielder Safiq Rahim who are still recuperating from their respective injuries while striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha had complained of being unwell during the national team's centralised training, yesterday.

"Mohd Badhri Radzi who just reported to me yesterday, would also be sidelined after he sustained a serious hamstring injury beside missing our trip to Japan on July 23 since his injuries need about 2-3 weeks to recover.

"I'll seek advise from the medical staff later today on whether Norshahrul is fit to be fielded or not in the friendly match, tomorrow," Rajagobal told reporters after a team manager's meeting at the Wisma FAM, Kelana Jaya, here, today.

Touching on the friendly match, the 57-year old coach said it was important to gauge the performance of the players ahead of their crucial friendly match against English Premier League club, Chelsea FC at the Shah Alam Stadium on Sunday (July 21).



"It will be a good match against Chonburi FC and I'm looking forward to this match to build the momentum ahead our important match against Chelsea.

"Through this match, I also want to see the progression of my players after coming back from a series of friendly matches in Australia," he said.

Meanwhile, Chonburi FC head coach, Withaya Laohakul said the match will be a good warm-up match for his side to face Army United in the away match of the Thailand Premier League, this Saturday.

"I know Malaysia is a good side but I hope my players will give a positive result in tomorrow's match," said the former Thailand international.

Skipper Pipob On-Mo who echoed Laohakul's sentiments said he would be seeking a major upset by beating the national side for the first time.

"I hope my team-mates will give their best performance against Malaysia since this is our first time playing against the national team," said the forward.

The Harimau Malaya squad is expected to travel to Japan on July 23, to play three friendly matches against clubs before taking on Spanish giant, FC Barcelona at the National Stadium on Aug 10.